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Anglo-Latin Bilingualism Before 1066: Prospects And Limitations

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Chapter Summary

This chapter sketches an empirical picture of Anglo-Latin bilingualism before the Norman Conquest and discusses the practical prospects and limitations of the language contact approach. The questions concerned in the chapter are whether the coexistence of English and Latin during the Old English period can be described in terms of language contact, and whether, indeed, it is a language contact situation. The chapter first describes the historical background for the Anglo-Latin language contact, proceeding to a statistical evaluation of the intensity of this contact based on the evidence of the Domesday Book for the demographic frequency of Anglo-Latin bilinguals. The chapter then proceeds to consider a range of linguistic phenomena that are normally associated with contact situations, in the order in which they are presented in the chapter on mechanisms of contact-induced language change in Thomason, and following Thomason's definitions.

Keywords: Anglo-Latin bilingualism; language contact approach; Norman Conquest; socio-historical background



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